Drink drivers increased by 16 per cent, say PSNI

Judge astounded that people ignore drink drving warning.
Judge astounded that people ignore drink drving warning.

The number of drivers and motorcyclists caught drink driving during the PSNI’s winter anti-drink drive campaign was 15.5% up on the previous year.

According to preliminary figures released today, 357 drink drivers were arrested between 1 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, 48 more than during the same period in 2016/17.

Commenting on the figures, Inspector Rosie Leech said, “When we launched this operation at the start of December, we warned drivers not to take the risk because just one drink can impair your decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.

“We tested over 13,000 people during the operation – an increase of over 16% in the number of preliminary roadside breath tests compared with the previous operation.

“We arrested 357 people who failed those tests. Each of those people are now facing the stark reality a court appearance where they will most likely lose their driving license for one or more years, be fined, and will have great difficulty in obtaining car insurance in the future.

“Many also risk losing their jobs or even going to jail. The alternative consequences had they not been caught do not bear thinking about.”

One person was detected at nearly four times the drink drive limit.

“We shouldn’t be detecting people driving with any alcohol in their system. It’s disappointing that despite our continued warnings, the publicity and media coverage generated by this policing operation, that a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice,” she added.